We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Be aware of room rate changes!”
Review of Rock Harbor Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Isle Royale National Park
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Rock Harbor Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 1, 2013

I booked a room at the Lodge in May for our vacation in July. The room rate was $256 and my confirmation letter reflected this. Just prior to departure for our vacation I happened to visit their web site again and noticed that the rate had increased to $271. It is mentioned in the confirmation letter that "rates are subject to change with the prior approval of the National Park Service." So, upon arrival at the Lodge, I inquired about my room rate and was told that it indeed was now $271! I asked why this was not disclosed to me when it occurred. The person at the desk just pointed out the disclaimer on my confirmation letter and didn't have an explanation. When all taxes and fees were added, my original room rate went from $256 per night to $295! While our room was comfortable and clean with a beautiful view, I find the their policy of raising rates on existing reservations...without notification...to be very underhanded. There are NO other lodging options on Isle Royal and they know it!

Room Tip: First floor rooms have a balcony with chairs. Second floor rooms have a large picture window.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank INfarmgirl_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (127)
There are newer reviews for Rock Harbor Lodge
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

88 - 94 of 127 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2013

The value of staying here is being able to stay in comfort in a remote and fabulous wilderness park, one of the finest gems of our National Parks. I do realize that the Lodge is an expensive and difficult place to operate. But for over $250 a night I would prefer better facilities. My friend and I stayed in one of the housekeeping cabins, as I prefer to cook most of my meals and eat out a minority of the time. This turned out to be a good idea and we made extensive use of the kitchenette. We ate one dinner, one lunch, and one breakfast in the restaurants, which were pretty good, but I'm glad we made our own meals. The cabin is adequate, but rather spartanly furnished. Items like bathroom fixtures are cheap and we had to request repairs and the screen doors left something to be desired. We had no complaints about the staff, who were always friendly and helpful.
I have worked in another National Park, and have found the following to be true of these lodges. The rates are not guaranteed. I reserved at a rate of $248. But, it had gone up to $263 when we arrived - something about a National Park Utility surcharge. This is aggravating to me, and appears not to be the fault of the lodge, but the NPS. Yes, they have their expenses and tight budgets, but I don't like surprises. Not much can be done when arriving in a place like this and not being equipped to camp.
I concur with the comments about Ranger Melissa. She is my kind of NPS ranger. Isle Royale is one of the least visited National Parks. That is a good thing in some ways, but is truly wonderful. If you are looking for a cushy resort and being waited on hand and foot, then go somewhere else.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank EAZELIFF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

My wife and I stayed at a housekeeping cottage operated by Rock Harbor Lodge. The cottage had a comfortable double bed, kitchenette, bathroom and storage area. The kitchenette included a large sink, electric range, refrigerator, microwave oven along with an assortment of pots and pans, cooking utensils, dish soap, plates, glasses and silverware. We enjoyed hot and cold running water and all the comforts of home. The bed was situated in front of a large picture window which was great for view the clear night sky. The window faced north and we had hopes of viewing the northern lights but alas, no such luck during our stay. The service was wonderful. The cottages are located a short walk up hill from the lodge; however, management picked up our luggage from the boat dock and delivered it to the room. At the end of our stay, they delivered out belongings to the dock for loading on the Isle Royale Ranger III. We enjoyed a memorable vacation and hope to visit Rock Harbor Lodge again in the future.

Room Tip: Ask for a cottage overlooking Tobin Harbor rather than a cottage set back behind other cottages.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jerry J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

The Rock Harbor Lodge is rustic. The staff who greeted us was cordial. A bit strict with their procedures, but I do believe it's was the best way to manage all the people who get off the boats at one time. Our room had 2 double beds and a bathroom. I was told not to expect anything fancy, that it was a basic lodge and that's exactly what it was. (A bit pricy for the accommodations.) Our plans were to sleep and shower in the lodge only, not be there during the day. There is a Guest house that had magazines, books, a seating area, and a fireplace. 2 small restaurants, one opened at specific hours and the other was 7a-7p with a bigger menu and then until 11 pm with pizzas only.
We spent most of our time on the trails so for our purposes, the lodge afforded a comfortable night's rest. The large picture window overlooking the harbor offered beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The housekeeping is so so, but the rooms were clean.

There are great ranger services during the day that offer short hikes to explain the history of the park and programs in the evening to learn about different aspects of the archipelago. As it was raining the first day we arrived, we appreciated the evening program with a group of Roads Scholars. We learned so much from the program that is made the rest of the hikes a better exerience.
The park also offers housekeeping cabins that have the basics and a private bath, a regular cabin without a privy, camping pads, and huts with a privy within close walking distance.
My experience was great and definitely I will return.

Room Tip: We were on the second floor, so no overhead footsteps and noises. No balconey, but great picture win...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank empress5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

The island is a rock with some trees growing on it. That it was possible to build any structure on the island impresses me. A hotel with electricity, flush toilets and hot showers is just short of a miracle.

We checked into a housekeeping cottage after three nights on The Trail, and stepping into the structure was almost a surreal experience. After sleeping in a shelter, while slapping mosquitos and trying to stay dry, the luxury of taking off my boots and walking on carpet made the cottage feel like a 5-star hotel. At the same time, the aged wool blankets on the bed, spartan furnishings and huge picture window showing a full view of the spectacular nature that we had just left, brought back memories of my grandfather's cottage on The Lake Up North.

We slept like logs in the beds, and were in the cottage only to sleep, shower, and change clothes. The hot water was hot, the toilets flushed, the kitchen appliances worked. Yes, we heard the neighbors in the other side of the duplex, but we're sure that they heard us, too, and we all dealt with it.

Getting to Isle Royale is an adventure in and of itself, and once you have arrived, you should not want to waste the trip by staying in your room a minute more than you have to. You should want to be outside, experiencing nature, and enjoying being off the grid.

Isle Royale isn't a good destination for everyone. You have to be able to accept some imperfections. You have to remember that everything that you use on the island, food, lightbulbs, canoe paddles, all has to be shipped to the island by boat. Every time you turn on a light or flush the toilet, you are increasing your carbon footprint, and it has to be compensated for. If you go, bear that in mind.

The island is a treasure, and the Parks Service does a great job of forcing the concessioner to minimize the impact that humans have on the island. If you want to be pampered in luxurious accommodations, go to Club Med. If you want a wilderness experience with not quite the amount of wilderness that you would get on The Trail, then the Rock Harbor Lodge is a great place to stay.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Den H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

We were just there and the hotel staff (Forever Resorts) who rent canoes are unwilling to let canoes go out in the fog (which is every day this season, practically.) They said it was unsafe and focused on the cold temperature of the water (as if canoeists tipped over all the time) so that it was impossible to canoe in Tobin harbor (the sheltered body of water thatis calm.)
The Ranger staff are outstanding. Everything else is managed by the concession company, Forever Resorts.
The island, views, and wildflowers are spectacular.

Room Tip: We stayed in a housekeeping cabin which is an OK idea if you can do the walk there.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Carrie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

First and foremost, this is the only hotel/lodge on Isle Royale.

My husband and I had a room with two double beds. Beds slept fine and we had an ample pillow supply (4 per bed).

The room and bathroom were very clean. The bathroom came with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion. No hair dryer present. Water pressure and temperature was good.

Our price per night was $269.

There is wifi near the office but it did not extend to our room. No cell service on the island.

As other reviewers said, it is the only option to stay on the island if you don't want to backpack/camp.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Suie0515
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Isle Royale National Park
0.6 mi away
Ramada Hancock Waterfront
1.4 mi away
Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Houghton
0.0 mi away
Magnuson Franklin Square Inn
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 mi away
Quality Inn & Suites
Quality Inn & Suites
#6 of 7 in Houghton
37 reviews
9.7 mi away
AmericInn Lodge & Suites Calumet
24.7 mi away
Baraga Lakeside Inn
Baraga Lakeside Inn
#1 of 4 in Baraga
100 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Rock Harbor Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Rock Harbor Lodge

Address: Lake Superior, Isle Royale National Park, MI
Location: United States > Michigan > Isle Royale National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Isle Royale National Park
Price Range: $215 - $3,111 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 60
Also Known As:
Rock Harbor Hotel Isle Royale National Park
Rock Harbor Lodge Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing